Minecraft Wiki

A lectern is a block used to display and read written books from. It also serves as a librarian's job site block.


Natural generation[]

Empty lecterns can generate naturally in village libraries, up to two for some library variants.

One lectern generates as part of each ancient city, in the secret room at the city center.


Lecterns can be broken with any tool, but an axe is the fastest. Lecterns drop themselves and the book they are holding.

Block Lectern
Hardness 2.5
Breaking time[A]
Default 3.75
Wooden 1.9
Stone 0.95
Iron 0.65
Diamond 0.5
Netherite 0.45
Golden 0.35
  1. Times are for unenchanted tools as wielded by players with no status effects, measured in seconds. For more information, see Breaking § Speed.


Ingredients Crafting recipe
Any wood Slab +


Lecterns are the job site block of librarian villagers.

Librarian villagers do not place books into lecterns. They only stare at the lectern from less than a block away as "working".

Holding books[]

Lectern GUI

The UI when reading a book on a lectern.

Lecterns can also hold a single book and quill or written book that other players can read at the same time. Right-clicking an empty one with a book and quill or written book places it. Right-clicking a lectern with a book already occupied opens an interface to read the book. Books occupying a lectern can be retrieved through the interface,‌[Java Edition only] punching the lectern‌[Bedrock Edition only] or by destroying the lectern, even when /gamerule doTileDrops is false.

Lecterns cannot hold enchanted books or normal books. Instead, right clicking the lectern with an enchanted book or a normal book does nothing and the book won't be placed.

Changing profession[]

If a village has a lectern that has not been claimed by a villager, any villager has a chance to change their profession into librarian if that villager has not already chosen a job site block.

Redstone signal[]

Lecterns holding a book emit a full-strength redstone pulse that is one game tick long (0.5 redstone ticks) when a page is turned. A redstone comparator also records book reading and sends a signal, depending on what page the player is currently on. Because Bedrock Edition displays two pages of the book at once, the same signal strength increments require double the number of pages.

For Java Edition a book with only 1 page gives maximum signal strength, however page 1 always gives 1 signal strength if the book contains at least 2 pages.

Due to this, to calculate the signal strength of books with more than 1 page, use the following formula:

Where is the "floor" operation (round down), is the maximum number of pages the book on the lectern has, and is the current page number the lectern is turned to.

This is most noticeable when a book has 2 pages where the signal strength is either 1 on page 1 or 15 on page 2.

A book that would step up or down in increments of 1 per page would be 15 pages long.

For Bedrock Edition the formula is slightly different. Due to Bedrock Edition showing 2 pages at once and counting a change to the book's output only if the highest even numbered page contains information, a redstone comparator treats books with 3 pages the same as those with 1 or 2 pages of information, the same as how Java Edition would treat a book with just 1 page.

For 4 or more pages of information use the following formula to calculate signal strength.

In this case is half of the maximum page number rounded down, and is half of the current highest page number containing data displayed on the book interface, rounded down.

Rounding down is required to eliminate the discrepancy caused by books containing an odd number of pages. For example, a book with 8 pages gives a signal strength of 15 when looking at pages 7-8. A book with 9 pages has a signal strength of 15 when looking at either pages 7-8 and 9-10.

In Bedrock Edition, a book that steps up or down in increments of 1 per page turned must be exactly 30 pages long, with information left on page 30.


Lecterns can be used as fuel in furnaces to smelt 1.5 items.

Note Blocks[]

Lecterns can be placed under note blocks to produce "bass" sound.



Java Edition:

SoundSubtitlesSourceDescriptionResource locationTranslation keyVolumePitchAttenuation
Block brokenBlocksOnce the block has brokenblock.wood.breaksubtitles.block.generic.break1.00.816
Block placedBlocksWhen the block is placedblock.wood.placesubtitles.block.generic.place1.00.816
Block breakingBlocksWhile the block is in the process of being brokenblock.wood.hitsubtitles.block.generic.hit0.250.516
None[sound 1]Entity-DependentFalling on the block with fall damageblock.wood.fallNone[sound 1]0.50.7516
FootstepsEntity-DependentWalking on the blockblock.wood.stepsubtitles.block.generic.footsteps0.151.016
  1. a b MC-177082

Bedrock Edition:

SoundSourceDescriptionResource locationVolumePitch
BlocksOnce the block has brokendig.wood1.00.8-1.0
BlocksWhen the block is placeddig.wood1.00.8
BlocksWhile the block is in the process of being brokenhit.wood0.230.5
PlayersFalling on the block with fall damagefall.wood0.41.0
PlayersWalking on the blockstep.wood0.31.0
PlayersJumping from the blockjump.wood0.121.0
PlayersFalling on the block without fall damageland.wood0.181.0


Java Edition:

SoundSubtitlesSourceDescriptionResource locationTranslation keyVolumePitchAttenuation
Page rustlesMaster VolumeWhen the page of a book is turneditem.book.page_turnsubtitles.item.book.page_turn2.00.9-1.016
Book thumpsBlocksWhen a book is placed on a lecternitem.book.putsubtitles.item.book.put1.01.016
Librarian worksFriendly CreaturesRandomly while a librarian is workingentity.villager.work_librariansubtitles.entity.villager.work_librarian2.00.8-1.216

Bedrock Edition:

SoundSourceDescriptionResource locationVolumePitch
SoundWhen the page of a book is turneditem.book.page_turn2.01.0
BlocksWhen a book is placed on a lecternitem.book.put4.81.0
BlocksRandomly while a librarian is workingitem.book.put4.81.0

Data values[]


Java Edition:

NameIdentifierFormTranslation key
LecternlecternBlock & Itemblock.minecraft.lectern
Block entitylectern

Bedrock Edition:

NameIdentifierNumeric ID FormItem ID[i 1]Translation key
Lecternlectern449Block & Giveable Item[i 2]Identical[i 3]tile.lectern.name
  1. ID of block's direct item form, which is used in savegame files and addons.
  2. Available with /give command.
  3. The block's direct item form has the same id as the block.
NameSavegame ID
Block entityLectern

Block states[]

See also: Block states

Java Edition:

Name Default value Allowed values Description
The direction the lectern is facing.
The opposite from the direction the player faces while placing the lectern.
If the lectern currently has a book.
If the lectern is currently outputting a redstone signal.

Bedrock Edition:

NameMetadata Bits Default value Allowed valuesValues for
Metadata Bits
The direction the lectern is facing.
  • 0: South facing
  • 1: West facing
  • 2: North facing
  • 3: East facing
minecraft:cardinal_directionNot Supportedsoutheast
UnsupportedThe direction the lectern is facing.
The opposite from the direction the player faces while placing the lectern.
If the lectern is currently outputting a redstone signal.

Block data[]

A lectern has a block entity associated with it that holds additional data about the block.

Java Edition:

  • Block entity data
      • Tags common to all block entities
    •  Book: The book item, without the slot tag, currently on the lectern, may not exist.
      • Tags common to all items
    •  Page: The page the book is currently on, starting from 0, does not exist if there's no book. If higher than the total amount of pages in the book, gets set to -1.

Bedrock Edition:

See Bedrock Edition level format/Block entity format.


Java Edition
August 18, 2012Lectern (pre-release) Lectern Book (pre-release) The lectern was an old project of Dinnerbone's. It was meant to be a stand for written books, so they could be easily read. He was well on his way to creating it when he encountered problems and scrapped the idea, but mentioned that he might pick up work on the lectern in the near future.
December 18, 2013Dinnerbone states in his Reddit AMA that he has revisited lecterns, but scrapped them again as "something about them just didn't feel right".
October 18, 2018Lectern (pre-release 2) Dinnerbone reveals that the lectern is once again in development.
1.1418w44aLectern JE1 Added lecterns.
Lecterns are currently obtainable only from the creative inventory and have no functionality.
Lecterns currently have a BookItem field, which holds the book item to be displayed. However, this field cannot be set and is not written to the block entity.
There is a file lectern.png which has each texture of the lectern on a large sheet. However, this is unused, as separate files are also present.
18w45aThe inventory icon of lecterns has been slightly changed from to .
Removed the unused lectern.png file.
Lectern JE2 BE1 The texture of lecterns has now been changed.
The bottom texture of lecterns has been changed from Lectern JE1 (facing NWU) to Lectern JE2 (facing NWU).
18w47aLectern JE3 BE1 (facing NWU) The bottom texture of lecterns has been changed, once again.
18w48aLecterns now generate in the updated plains villages.
18w49aLecterns now generate in the updated savanna villages and the new snowy tundra villages.
18w50aLecterns now generate in the updated desert and taiga villages.
19w02aLecterns now have a crafting recipe.
Lectern Book JE1 BE1 Lecterns can now be used to hold books.
Lecterns now emit a redstone pulse when a page is changed.
Lecterns now use the correct cullface argument for its bottom face.
?Lecterns now use some corrected side cullface arguments for the front and back of their base plate.
19w03aCertain blocks can no longer be supported by the top of a lectern.[1]
19w03cLecterns now use correct cullface arguments on the left and right hand side of their base plate.
19w11aLecterns now serve as librarian villagers' job site block.
1.1721w08aLectern position within the Redstone tab has been moved out of the "essential" group in the creative inventory.
21w11aTweaked the lectern model.
1.18Pre-release 5Lectern (S) Lectern with Book (S) The base texture of lectern has now been changed.
1.1922w13aLecterns now generate as part of ancient cities.
Bedrock Edition
1.10.0beta JE2 BE1 Lectern Book JE1 BE1 Added lecterns.
1.11.0beta now emit a redstone pulse when a page is turned.
1.20.30beta now use the minecraft:cardinal_direction block state instead of direction.
PlayStation 4 Edition
1.90Lectern JE2 BE1 Lectern Book JE1 BE1 Added lecterns.


Issues relating to "Lectern" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.





  1. MC-141991
  2. "sup"@Dinnerbone (Nathan Adams) on X, October 18, 2018